Friday, June 24, 2005

Happy Midsummer!

Tonight is Midsummer's Eve, which is one of the most celebrated holidays in Sweden. (It ranks right up there with christmas.) So what is really celebrated? Well, the summer solstice, and the light. As such a large part of the year is dark in especially Northern Sweden, we take every advantage of the lighter part of the year. Midsummer's is the night to stay up all night (and it's actually sunlight 24 hours in some parts of the country!), eating, drinking and being with family and friends.

You can read more about it here. I, like very many other Stockholmers will go out into the archipelago. (Everyone seems to want to be near water on Midsummer.) Per and I will join my parents on their boat. Midsummer is all about food and drink (especially drink, for very very many), but the traditional food is sill (pickled herring) and new potatoes, with a garnish of sour cream and chives. The potatoes are fine (excellent!) but I really can't stomach sill. Most people also barbecue, and so will we. And I'm bringing some of the radishes and cheese I talked about! And some snacks. And a lot of strawberries - it wouldn't be midsummer without strawberries, that's for sure.

So, happy midsummer's eve to you all! I recommend one of the oldest traditions for those single girls out there - tonight is the night that you go out, pick seven kinds of flowers, and sleep with them under your pillow. Ignore the bugs that inevitably will inhabit the bouquet. You will dream about the man you're going to marry. Yes, of course it's true.


Niki said...

And we're down here lamenting the shortest day of the year and the winter solstice!
Wasn't it technically midsummer on the 22 June? Or do you enjoy the celebration on the nearest weekend evening to the actual date?
Technically, your midsummer should be some time in July, shouldn't it - if you're going for the technical day-in-the-middle-of-the-three-months-of-summer idea. Here, our seasons change on the first day of the month.
I love the sound of spending a festival day on a boat, watching the water and sky and enjoying good food with family and friends. Fabulous!!

Anne said...

Niki, midsummer is since many years back always celebrated on the third Friday in June, for ease of planning. :) But technically, it should be something else, that's right. It's not really the mid of summer either anymore - summer weather almost never gets going until June here, so if we were really going for the "mid", it would indeed be in July. :)

Boating was wonderful this time around, the weather was awesome and the company great. I had a lovely time! And Per didn't get seasick! (For the first time, ever.) :)

farmgirl said...

Love your midsummer post and the photo. Just wanted to let you know I found some white balsamic vinegar, and it was wonderful last night sprinkled on freshly picked filet beans. And you were right--they looked so much prettier since they didn't have the dark vinegar all over them. Thanks so much for introducing me to it!

Anne said...

Farmgirl - that's great! I'm glad you were able to find it! As much as I love the more intense flavor of the dark one, well, the lighter one certainly has its place too. And it's so much prettier! :)

anna said...

This traditional is very interesting! My country don't do this. I wanna see my husband in future.